I realise in my last blog entry I did not make mention of my Grandmothers. That is because my maternal nana died when I was two and my paternal Gran when I was seven. Although I do remember my Gran quite distinctly with memories of visits to her house and her making me as much toast and marmalade as I wanted. (my favourite dish). I am not sure if I remember my Nana or only do because I know her face so well from photos and from what I have been told of her.
Either way I missed out on having Grandmothers and must admit when I was young my wish for Christmas was to have a Grannie. Grannies seemed to me to be wonderful people I read avidly about them in books and envied my friends when they told me stories about their Grannies. Joan Lingard wrote her Maggie books with a Gran as one of the central characters and how I wanted to have a Grannie and Grandchild relationship that Maggie had. I had a Grannie obsession.
I was though lucky enough to adopt a Grannie. A lady in the church whose own Grandchildren lived in London. I visited her every saturday morning without fail. At first we went shopping together and I helped and then as she got older I shopped for her. Then back to her place for Irn Bru and a biscuit. I always think of Mrs Hamilton when I drink Irn Bru and whenever I pass her flat smile at the memories of my adopted Gran.
But how I wish I had known both of my Grannies better. But I do know quite a lot about them from my parents and relatives. And part of the reason that I write this blog is to let my children know not just about our life together but also about my childhood and their relatives. Where we once had diaries which informed Social History . We now have blogs.
Starting with my Nana as I say I’m not sure I could remember her. But what I do know is how loved she was by my mum, my aunt and my papa. None of them have ever really got over her death and they painted a picture of a lady who was at the heart of her family. A great cook and baker who loved food and making food for others. I like to think that these traditions have been carried on.
My Gran had a working life not out of choice but out of need. I suspect it would not have been what she would have chosen. But my Grandpa who ironically outlived her had poor health and my Gran was the only breadwinner. My great-grandmother was the main carer for my dad as my Gran worked. Must have been rare then and very tough. It’s hard enough being a working parent today when you tend to have lots of other in the same position never mind the late 1940’s and 1950’s. Yet she took the time to spend time with my Dad too and make sure he knew all his extended family who today my Dad still knows and keeps in touch with. I hope I take on my challenges with the same grace that my Gran did.
My children are very lucky they have two Grannies (well one Grannie and a Grolive) who take an active part in their lives. I love seeing this and watching the relationship grow. As I do with their Grandfathers. Grandparents are so important in a Child’s life a parents love is central but a Grandparents love is extra special.
So lets hear it for Grannies and Grandpas’ and the difference they have made to us. They are part of who you are.